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I have known Kent for a number of years; I was one of his committee members for his Ph.D. He is one of the brightest minds that I have encountered. The powerful aspect to his personality is that he focuses his intellect on solving real world problems that enable people and initiatives to move forward. He combines broad, deep thinking with engineering hands to get work done. I have had more than one experience of asking him to tackle a difficult issue that others could not address, and he solved the problem. His energetic curiosity and ability to learn are engaging for those who want to work on difficult problems in the world today.
It is with great pleasure that I write this recommendation. I have been fortunate to work very closely with Kent, even if for a brief period of time, on a small cross-functional technical team consisting of key statistical geneticists and scientific programmers. The technical task given to the team in question involved translation into scientific software of complex and computationally intensive statistical genetics methodology. Kent's technical excellence, clarity in execution and teamwork have been fundamental in the successful completion of a challenging technical project executed under tight timelines. It is especially his contribution with respect to scientific software code optimization that has resulted in outstanding improvements in terms of software run time execution, with the practical outcome of implicitly enabling wide and fast adoption of key technologies.
Kent has been a technology and thought leader in several areas of informatics for many years. His expertise spans from hardware for data acquisition through data processing and analytics to data management and decision support. Scientific programming and optimization as well as data visualization are among Kent's greatest strengths. Kent is creative, in tune with newest technology development, and always focused on pragmatic and robust solutions for business needs.
I've had the pleasure of working with Kent in a variety of capacities and on a variety of projects during my ten years at Pioneer. Kent is a gifted scientist and engineer, and in my experience is one of the few people who credibly be called by both those names. I've seen him add transformational value to multiple projects at the interface of software/ hardware and biology. His work ethic and passion to deliver is phenomenal and he works across disciplines and with diverse people and problems with ease.
Kent is excellent in analyzing and solving problems. He has tremendous knowledge and skills in a variety of areas. I have worked with Kent on various high performance computing projects over the years and he has been instrumental in their success. He is superior in his ability to take a solution and optimize it for the best performance. I was always excited to work with Kent on a project because of his insight and abilities.
I have worked with Kent on multiple projects. Those projects have been very successful because he has great attention for detail. He finds creative ways of either solving problems or optimizing existing solutions. These optimizations have helped reduce the necessity for large capital purchases.